~This blog entry is brought to you from the electronic portfolio of CS7 student Talula Pontuti. Conserve School electronic portfolios connect student experiences to the school’s learning goals. Talula is from Menomonie, Wisconsin where she attends Menomonie High School. This entry was completed in mid October.~
Conserve School Learning Goal: Demonstrates the observational and reflective skills necessary to the development of a meaningful and lasting sense of place.
Lately, we have been busy with school and activities around Conserve. We’ve gone on fantastic trips to beautiful places, learning so much along the way. But, we also had time to ourselves, which is incredibly important to our well being.
I’ve been thinking about different ways to really let myself relax and reflect on all the things happening in my life and the world around me. Juggling classes and fun activities with my new family leaves little time to just wind down. On Exploration Week, we went on a night canoe ride in the Sylvania Wilderness, paddling along, staring at the bright, orange moon and the thousands of stars floating around it. It was amazing. I had never felt so calm and content. We gazed in silence for most of the time, letting me sink into my thoughts and the world around me. We listened to the calls of the loons and coyotes, making for a magical scene. The sky made me feel so small, but real. I thought to myself about how lucky I was to be there and to get the opportunity to live in the present, with fantastic people by my side. It was a big realization to me about how important we are, but also how little we are in the big picture. I felt at home, surrounding by people who had become so important to me in the short time we had been living together. Getting to observe the night sky changing over the paddle was incredible as well. How do people ever stay inside at night? The nighttime is too fantastic.
After that trip, I’ve started to incorporate night time strolls or laying out looking at the stars as much as possible into my life. It has given me a chance to unwind, let things go and enjoy everything. People need the natural word to keep them sane. It opens us up and lets us breathe. Over this semester, I hope to keep opening myself up, and be able to really experience and learn as much as I can about this beautiful place.
~Talula Pontuti, Conserve School Semester 7
More photos from Talula’s semester at Conserve School.
Conserve School provides a semester-long immersion for high school students in environmental studies and outdoor activities that deepens their love of nature, reinforces their commitment to conservation, and equips them to take meaningful action as environmental stewards. Thanks to the generosity of Conserve School’s friends and its founder James Lowenstine all accepted students receive significant scholarship support.